“Real” Duty-Free Dating
I've been married almost 2 years now. Two of the best wedding gifts that I received were a one-way ticket out of my singles ward Elders Quorum and the expiration of my pass to single, young-adult firesides. Please don't get me wrong, I have no hard feelings toward my fellow comrades in Mormondom's generation-X. I am relieved, however, to have escaped the constant fustigation from bishops, stake presidents, seventies, and even apostles against the single men for not dating more "nice young ladies in your ward." While I was able to blow off my parents' passive-aggressive, back-handed comments about my dating habits, I often felt that my church leaders went too far.
For instance, three years ago my stake president visited our EQ to “raise the spiritual bar” and told us that dating was a priesthood responsibility and that if we didn’t date at least once a week, we shouldn’t consider ourselves worthy to enter the temple. Yikes…
I think this mentality is the very thing which has led singles ward bishops to implement an increasing number of ward-sponsored social events. Unfortunately, the criticism continues against single LDS men, even those who use these ward events to get to know the “nice young ladies” of the ward (see Chris Potter’s post).
Well, for all of you brethren who are tired of the drama, the chastisement, the flak, I offer you the "real" duty-free dating program: the Perpetual Dating Fund (PDF). To every bishop, concerned parent, stake president, and Institute director, it's time to put some money where your mouth is.
The program is simple: Turn in all of your receipts to the bishop for remuneration up to $50 for each first date. If you ever end up marrying the girl, you both pay the church back that $50. The church would just add another row to the tithing slip and anybody who feels that the young single adults should be dating more can contribute to the fund in order to finance this duty-free dating program.
Young, single MoBros, UNITE!